Skip to main content


Lesson 11 from: Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

11. Collections

Lesson Info


well we're going to continue processing images because that's one of the core things we need to do to refine them and also talk a little bit about organizing our imagesmore and just so you know though tomorrow is when we talked the most about organizing your pictures and that's when things really coming in nicely when it comes to be ableto find the any image you've ever shot I'll be able to go in and sort them by what state it is they were shot in you could sort them by all sorts of things and you'll see a really nice system for taking your images with what sonia's keywords and be able to find things based on that and not just tagging them with keywords and find them but organizing them in such a way that it makes it really eh joy to kind of brows your collection of images once you've gotten them in here because so far the only way we've really organized our pictures is with our folder structure and if you looked at our folder structure we currently have since we've only imported reall...

y two folders full of images here we have our blue ridge parkway images in our great smoky mountains that's really our only way of doing it we might have created some sub folders it's rare for me to create the sub folders though in here because there are other ways that I find to be muchmore just useful for organizing my pictures and so as we get into the next day is when we really get mohr into the organization but right now when we're adjusting some pictures I've been using this thing called collections but I haven't described them it's just how I've been switching between images and I've been acting as if their folders just clicking on them to see other images let's take a brief look at what they are and what we could do with them I'm going to collapse down what we have here usually there would be nothing showing up within the collections area that is in there except for some smart collections that might come in automatically with light room but what a collection is a virtual folder where when you drag images into a collection it's simply remembers where it's located on your hard drive but it does not move the picture at all it leaves it in its original location and simply remembers that you've put it into a collection so I'm going to come in here and create a new collection I'll go to the collections area I'll go over to the right side where we have a little plus sign and I'm in a choose create collection and I'm going to name this skies because sometimes they might decide to replace the sky or put extra cloud in or something in a in an image so I want to able to find all the skies that I've shot throughout all the years that I think might be useful for that particular type of purpose and below here he had asked me if I want to put it into a collection set we haven't talked about those yet so I'll turn that off below that it says include selected photos and that means if I happen to have a photo selected here it would automatically put it in there since I wasn't thinking about that at the time that I chose whatever images selected I'll turn that off so it doesn't automatically do anything with that particular image so anyway what I'm doing here is I've chosen to create a collection it's called skies and I haven't done anything fancy have just turned off all these features and I click create now remember how I got that was just go up here where it says collections and on the right side there's a little plus sign which is actually a menu if you click and hold on it and I chose create collection I can create a cz many of these aside like maybe I create another collection that is called waterfalls and just turn off the city's down here because we're not doing anything special and then I have another one now any time I want to remember images that contain waterfalls or skies that I might use to replace the sky in a different photograph I will click on the image that I'm thinking of in this case a waterfall and then I'm gonna bring it over here waterfalls and then up here maybe I like the single cloud and I think it might want to be ableto inserted into a different picture to replace some cloud or something and maybe I like the same over here I can take these images and dragged those into the one called skies and I can do this as I'm clicking through the various folders that I have stored in on my hard drive maybe I come here here and just look to see if I happen to have captain your waterfall or a sky within here I don't know if I have in this particular folder but if I did ya hear some nice little skies that might have some sunsets within them maybe I want to be able to put that in a different one so I could just drag it over here to skies I usually have these set up for skies is one that I have but I also have one for textures because when I'm travelling around oftentimes I will just find the texture of the of like a door or something that has really interesting texture to it that I might want to apply to my photograph is kind of like a special effect kind of look and it's something where I'm not going to remember that I captured it on blue ridge parkway because it has nothing to do with the subject matter I was capturing they're in instead it's something that I need to use independent of that subject matter and so I might end up uh put it into a collection called textures and therefore I can keep track of where all of those of things reside without having to remember what folder they are in when I come back to a collection and click on its name it shows me every image that I've ever dragged onto that collection even though these images are they reside in different folders on my hard drive so that it also does not move any of the files on my hard drive at all leaves him exactly where they were well whenever you create these collections and you drag images inside of them you can then click on the name of the collection to bring this up sometimes though I find an image and let's say in this case it's this image here and I really would like one similar to it and I'm assuming when I shot this particular image that I probably took more than one but I didn't put it in here so I want to go and find where the original of this resides on my hard drive and I want to look at what other images I shot on that day and if I want to do that I pressed the right mouse button on top of this picture and there is a choice in here that's called go to folder in library and what that means is navigate my hard drive within light room so that I'm feeling the folder that contains this picture and when I choose that instead of looking at the contents of this collection I'll be looking at the contents of a folder and I'll see that picture highlighted where I could scroll through and see if there any others that might be similar enough to them that I could use it for whatever purpose I was thinking of so a collection is a collection of images that reside in lots of different places on my hard drive and if I ever want to get back to exactly where any particular image came from originally want to find it I'm right clicking on it in choosing goto folder in library now if you organize some images that way maybe it's that you have a talk coming up for a particular group and they want to have you given talk let's say on iceland because this image up here is from iceland and that you want to prep your images you don't want to move him on your hard drive right now you just want to get ready for that talk so you come over here and create a collection and you just call it iceland slideshow and then as I'm working I could be dragging things over there is I'm thinking about that talk but then let's say I started doing a lot of talks about various travels that I do all over the place and I don't want to just have a really long list he's over here I want to organize them seymour so look over here to collections go to the plus sign this time I'll say create collections set when I choose create collection set that is a container the container can't contain photographs it can contain on ly collections so this is like a little shoebox is what it looks like and I'll just call this slide shows click create in the icon looks different for a collection set it looks like a little shoe box a collection set cannot contain photographs instead it can only contain collections so I can click here now on this one called iceland slideshow and I could drag it up here to put it inside of that one called slide shows so that then I can start building up a collection of slide shows on a bunch of different topics I can say let's have one on africa let's have one in another area that I visited and so if you want to create a new collection inside of this what I usually do is instead of clicking on the little plus sign over here is I just right click on the collection set that I already see and I'll just say create collection and then it will usually automatically turn on this check box and populated with the name of the collection I had clicked on and so I can call this africa slide ship and I could just build up a bunch of things that weigh in when it comes to the collection sets they all have a little triangle next to him where you can simply collapse them down click it again and expanded and we will have those organized so you don't always have to see them so I created a collection for this particular class actually collection set if I open up the collection set you can see here the ones for the first day if I was in my main light room catalog not this one that we have kind of created it just important stuff stuff into there'd also be a day two in a day three and if I open that up this is how I organized the stuff we talked about earlier today where when we started getting started these air the various sessions that were within their and therefore I could drag images in here and keep track of them without moving them on my hard drive which are rather nice so a collection set looks like a shoe box it is designed to contain collections it's the collection itself that contains the photographs in putting a photograph into a collection does not move in on your hard drive at all stays where it wass the other thing that's really nice about collections is you can have the same folder in multiple collections so I could take that image that contained the waterfall and I could put it if I happen to like the clouds up in the sky and I might want to use that I could also drag it down here disguise and now it's in both whereas if you try to do that on your hard drive you'd have to actually have two copies of the file and then you'd start uh losing track of what changes have been made toe one versus the other but instead these air just referring back to the location of the original if I make a change to the original image it's updated in all of the collection that it's that it resides in so if I adjust the picture it's updated in all of them there's one other type of collection that you can create if I go to the upper right here of the collections area there's something also called a smart collection in a smart collection is really a saved search it's a way of searching for images where instead of manually dragging things in you have light room automatically populate that collection based on some search criteria I might create a collection called process may and when it's sento process me I'm gonna come in here and just say it must match all of the following rules the rating remember my rating system we talked about on ly things there to star above should end up getting process so I can come over here and say that I would like to come in and in you know choose any kind of file type I would want the general source if it needs to come from one particular folder if I'd like any of these kinds off information I can look for only images that are cropped for instance maybe I'm looking for a cover image for a magazine and I wantto look at all my cropped images to see can I un problem and get some more vertical space that type of thing you could do it with different keywords once we learn howto assigned key words then that will be a very nice way to do this so that what I have set up for some smart collections where my portfolio as you'll see probably tomorrow but maybe on the third day is you're gonna find that is created automatically through the little rating system we use and threw a few other little changes when I attached it to a picture it automatically updates my portfolios and it automatically tries to make it so it's easy to get uploaded on the internet like tells me what needs to be uploaded uh all that type of thing um so I can do pick flags all sorts of stuff so in this case let's just say I want to come in here and with my camera info I want to find all things that might need to have noise reduction done so the s o speed writing in my image is greater than in whatever I think is when noise is a problem with my camera anything above s o eight hundred maybe and then I'll call this I'm not sure if any of the match it in this particular set of images but if I do that now they're one hundred sixty images that automatically got populated into this particular smart collection because they were all shot with s o eight hundred or above and therefore this is something that I might wantto review these pictures in see if any noise reduction because my camera might start toe have a problem with noise once I get up that high does that make sense of smart collection is really kind of an automatic search for your images will create a lot more of those on the other days so we can incorporate them with the other kind of system of kind of showing you of my rating key wording and everything else that all fits together in a way that when you're done if you happen to apply all it makes it so finding your pictures in having a portfolio of your images is almost automatic for anything but we first need to just learn the basic pieces and then we'll slowly connect those pieces together in a way that makes them vastly more useful than uh what you might originally see so these air collections and collection sets smart collections have a nikon that's got a little gear or asterix kind of thing on top of them so that means I can't drag a picture into that instead I need to modify the picture so that it matches the criteria that this is searching on so I'd have to shoot another picture that's s o eight hundred or above to get this number to go up that type of thing but I wanted to mention these because I've been using these to get to the images that I want a process and it might have looked like as clicking on folders with these air virtual folders the actual images that are contained within these are ones where they're located in various areas of my hard drive that I don't even remember where they are by right click here choose golda folder and library it will tell me it's in a folder called camera in a sub folder called underexposed that's actually where it is on my hard drive the other thing that you might want to consider when incorporating collections into your workflow is if you ever run across a picture and you're thinking about deleting it before you delete the picture any picture I'm thinking about the leading if it looks at all questionable of should I keep it or not I usually right click on it in one of the choices here is called go to collection and if you choose go to collection it will list all the collections that this particular photo resides in and therefore it might give me a clue as to why I would want to keep it because I'm using it for something it's in a project it's in a slide show that I'm going to present next week and heck wow clyde I'm not goingto uh deleted off my hard drive or deleted out of the light room catalog because therefore it would disappear from these collections and I wouldn't want that to happen and so that is uh useful way of thinking about some of the collections all right we've been talking about also processing so let's move back to that really quick then do you mind if we have some questions about collections before you move on one from catherine can you convert a smart collection into a regular or permanent collection once you're satisfied with the results of the search criteria can you convert a smart collection into a normal one there's not that I can think of a direct conversion but you can easily do it all you need to do is create a new collection what I would do is click on the smart collection so you're seeing the results of its searching do a select all to select all the images that it came up with and then create a new collection in one of the choices when you create a new collection is to include the selected photos so if you're looking at the contents of a smart collection and you've chosen select all now you're creating a brand new collection that's not a smart collection it's a normal one the kind that you can drive your pictures into I just say include selected photos and that was there all the photos that that smart collection came up with so they should all be moved now to hear so now you can see we have the same number of images in both of these collections see the number one sixty and both of them uh but this one is one that's automatically generated if I important another thousand images whichever ones are above eight hundred s o r above would increase this number but they wouldn't increase this number because this is a normal collection the kind you've to drag pictures onto so that's great step light if you delete from a collection doesn't remain in the folder I would say that it does when you're viewing a collection if you click on a picture and then hit the delete key you deleted it from the collection you did not delete it from its original location you're just taking it out of the collection itself if you wanted to get it out of light room in general I would have right clicked on it instead in chose should goto folder in library that brings you to like the original image you could say on and if I clicked on it here and hit delete then it says hey what do you really want to do and if I choose remove it means leave it on my hard drive just don't make it show up in light room maybe it's a picture that just uh has nothing to do with these photographs but happens to be in that folder you can hit removed if you hit delete from disk it removes it from light room and it trashes it on your heart so that's the only one that I time to click on that is with things that I've raided as a reject that I'm trying to clear ofsome hard drive space got a question here in the room you want to grab mike go ahead what if you have a file that you've done something within photoshopped or some other program can you put that into a collection yes as long as you can get that photo in light room meaning imported in the light room light room can handle tiff file format photoshopped file format jpeg file format these raw files and I'm sure I'm not thinking of a few other file formats that it can deal with the one thing is if you're inthe photo shop yeah making your changes when you save your picture there's usually a question that says you want to maximize compatibility have you ever seen that but it will ask often and that needs to be turned on in photo shop there's a preference in the photo shop preferences that talks about the maximizing compatibility setting do you want it to always be turned on or do you want to always ask most people have it on the default setting which I think makes it always ask u s oh that one when you're saving an image it also say if you want to maximize compatibility if that check boxes turned on you khun imported in the light room and it'll show up if that's not turned on it didn't save a preview in the file and it needs that preview from a layered photoshopped file in order for light room toe loaded but we'll talk more about that when we talk and get into photo shop you'll see those settings

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Bonus Packet
Post Processing Practice Files

Ratings and Reviews


After catching parts of each of the three days, I knew that I would need to have access to this wealth of information. What is great about the program is the ability to stop and go back over something that is not fully understood...and be able to do that until confident enough to move on. I saw no "fluff" in the course, just great information imparted with a style that is makes it easy to understand. CreativeLive scored a big hit with this course! The bonus material is SO valuable, especially the presets. That saves an enormous amount of time for me. My appreciation of the power behind the software is becoming ever clearer. Thanks, Ben, for another outstanding presentation!

Shannon Beelman Photography

Ben has been amazing! He is a wealth of information on organizing images as well as great tips to make your travel images pop just a little more. I came into this class feeling like I had a good handle on lightroom and have come out with a better understanding of the power of the software to make artistic life easier. He covers tips, tricks and little known options that help make workflow smother. I have sat here watching as much of the free broadcast as I can and in this last week I have gotten control over years of images in my lightroom. This is one I know I will be buying soon.


Great class! Somehow, it was enjoyable not having Ben default to "curves for everything"! I don't think the title for this course did it justice, tho. This class was 90% Light Room and 10% Photoshop. I was very happy to discover that dynamic and equally as happy to purchase this course! If you are new to Light Room, this class is a MUST. Creative Live offers several LR classes but this is the one to own. Ben is working on his new book about Light Room Mastery - can't wait! In the meanwhile, I'll be watching Ben's thorough approach to LR in this video. So, don't let the title throw you a curve ball, if you are new to Light Room or a seasoned user, there's plenty of great information - delivered as only Ben can! Thanks CL for this great class!

Student Work